Saturday, June 18, 2011

Spirit of Wine Review & Rating: ***+ $$ Felline Primitivo di Manduria, 2006, Italy (GOOD VALUE)

Find Felline Primitivo di Manduria at WineZap.

By way of background: From Manduria in the Apulia area of Italy, this Felline represents the 10th year of production of this label, and comes in at a fairly potent 14% alcohol.

Original review, November, 2009:

In the glass: Brilliant deep purple, opaque to about a half-inch from the side of the glass.

On the nose: Quite purple, sweet and rubber-helium balloony. Fresh, fresh, fresh plums.

On the palate: First is a deep prune sense at the back of your palate, slightly sweet and earthy. A touch of smooth licorice follows that, flowing down slickly along your cheeks. A bright sweet acid touch follows, with a hint of charcoal.

And the finish: Long, sweet, acid-toned and slightly charry finish carries for quite awhile, helped along no doubt by the higher alcohol levels. Clean and ready for the next sip.

In summary: A full-throttle, reasonably-balanced, sweet, slick and just slightly bright experience. Definitely worth a return visit, yielding three stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale, with a plus for its balance/power combination. Good value.

International Wine Cellar was enthusiastic, with a 91 point rating, and the following notes: "Inky violet-red. Wonderfully scented nose of ripe red cherry, almond paste and minerals. Spicy flavors of red berries, tobacco and mint are complemented by a note of sweet raspberry liqueur. Bright acids give lift to the wine's berry and mineral notes. Delivers an uncanny combination of sweetness and energy, and finishes long and seamless."
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Updated review, a year and a half later, June, 2011:  Color has moved from brilliant deep purple to brilliant deep magenta.  Still opaque to a half inch of the edge of the glass.  Ripe, muddled plums now on the nose, no longer as fresh.  The palate, however, shows an almost-identical sense of earthy and acidic prunes, with brightness and a hint of charcoal accompanying the ride.  It has held quite fast during the intervening year and a half.  Remains a good value.  Following long decant, full day at room temperature in flat-bottomed decanter:  Still deep, muddled plums on the nose.  The palate is softer and less acidic, more serenely knit.  Quite pleasant.  Cheers for the longer decant. 

Find Felline Primitivo di Manduria at WineZap.

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